Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault (1926–84) is widely considered to be one of the most influential academic voices of the twentieth century and has proven influential across disciplines.

  • Introduction to Kant's Anthropology

    Introduction to Kant's Anthropology

    Michel Foucault and Roberto Nigro

    Foucault's previously unpublished doctoral dissertation on Kant offers the definitive statement of his relationship to Kant and to the critical tradition of philosophy.

    This introduction and commentary to Kant's least discussed work, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, is the dissertation that Michel Foucault presented in 1961 as his doctoral thesis. It has remained unpublished, in any language, until now.

    In his exegesis and critical interpretation of Kant's Anthropology, Foucault raises the question of the relation between psychology and anthropology, and how they are affected by time. Though a Kantian “critique of the anthropological slumber,” Foucault warns against the dangers of treating psychology as a new metaphysics, explores the possibilities of studying man empirically, and reflects on the nature of time, art and technique, self-perception, and language. Extending Kant's suggestion that any empirical knowledge of man is inextricably tied up with language, Foucault asserts that man is a world citizen insofar as he speaks. For both Kant and Foucault, anthropology concerns not the human animal or self-consciousness but, rather, involves the questioning of the limits of human knowledge and concrete existence.

    This long-unknown text is a valuable contribution not only to a scholarly appreciation of Kant's work but as the first outline of what would later become Foucault's own frame of reference within the history of philosophy. It is thus a definitive statement of Foucault's relation to Kant as well as Foucault's relation to the critical tradition of philosophy. By going to the heart of the debate on structuralist anthropology and the status of the human sciences in relation to finitude, Foucault also creates something of a prologue to his foundational The Order of Things.

    Michel Foucault (1926–84) is widely considered to be one of the most important academic voices of the twentieth century and has proven influential across disciplines.

    • Paperback $15.95 £12.99
  • The Politics of Truth, New Edition

    The Politics of Truth, New Edition

    Michel Foucault and Sylvère Lotringer

    Ranging from reflections on the Enlightenment and revolution to a consideration of the Frankfurt School, this collection offers insight into the topics preoccupying Foucault as he worked on what would be his last body of published work, the three-volume History of Sexuality.

    In 1784, the German newspaper Berlinische Monatsschrift asked its audience to reply to the question "What is Enlightenment?" Immanuel Kant took the opportunity to investigate the purported truths and assumptions of his age. Two hundred years later, Michel Foucault wrote a response to Kant's initial essay, positioning Kant as the initiator of the discourse and critique of modernity. The Politics of Truth takes this initial encounter between Foucault and Kant, as a framework for its selection of unpublished essays and transcripts of lectures Foucault gave in America and France between 1978 and 1984, the year of his death. Ranging from reflections on the Enlightenment and revolution to a consideration of the Frankfurt School, this collection offers insight into the topics preoccupying Foucault as he worked on what would be his last body of published work, the three-volume History of Sexuality. It also offers what is in a sense the most "American" moment of Foucault's thinking, for it was in America that he realized the necessity of tying his own thought to that of the Frankfurt School.

    • Paperback $14.95 £11.99
  • Fearless Speech

    Fearless Speech

    Michel Foucault and Joseph Pearson

    This volume gathers a series of lectures Michel Foucault gave on the Greek notion of parrhesia, the speech of someone who has the moral qualities required to speak the truth, even if it differs from what the majority of people believes and one faces danger for speaking it.

    I would like to distinguish between the 'history of ideas' and the 'history of thought.' The history of ideas involves the analysis of a notion from its birth, through its development, and in the setting of other ideas, which constitute its context. The history of thought is the analysis of the way an unproblematic field of experience becomes a problem, raises discussions and debate, incites new reactions, and induces crisis in the previously silent behaviors, practices, and institutions. It is the history of the way people become anxious, for example, about madness, about crime, about themselves, or about truth.

    Comprised of six lectures delivered, in English, by Michel Foucault while teaching at Berkeley in the Fall of 1983, Fearless Speech was edited by Joseph Pearson and published in 2001. Reviewed by the author, it is the last book Foucault wrote before his death in 1984 and can be read as his last testament. Here, he positions the philosopher as the only person able to confront power with the truth, a stance that boldly sums up Foucault's project as a philosopher. Still unpublished in France, Fearless Speech concludes the genealogy of truth that Foucault pursued throughout his life, starting with his investigations in Madness and Civilization, into the question of power and its technology. The expression "fearless speech" is a rough translation of the Greek parrhesia, which designates those who take a risk to tell the truth; the citizen who has the moral qualities required to speak the truth, even if it differs from what the majority of people believe and faces danger for speaking it. Parrhesia is a verbal activity in which a speaker expresses his personal relationship to truth through frankness instead of persuasion, truth instead of flattery, and moral duty instead of self-interest and moral apathy.

    • Paperback $12.95 £10.99
  • Foucault Live

    Foucault Live

    Collected Interviews, 1961–1984

    Michel Foucault and Sylvère Lotringer

    The most accessible and exhaustive introduction to Foucault's thought to date, including every extant interview made by Foucault from the mid-60s until his death in 1984.

    Currently in its fourth printing, Foucault Live is the most accessible and exhaustive introduction to Foucault's thought to date. Composed of every extant interview made by Foucault from the mid-60s until his death in 1984, Foucault Live sheds new light on the philosopher's ideas about friendship, the intent behind his classical studies, while clarifying many of the professional and popular misinterpretations of his ideas over the course of his career. As Gilles Deleuze noted, "the interviews in this book go much further than anything Foucault ever wrote, and they are indispensable in understanding his life work." Most notably, Foucault Live includes interviews he made with the gay underground press during his stays in America during the 1970s. In them, Foucault suggests that homosexuality presents a new paradigm for ways of living beyond the predictable, binary couple. All of the philosopher's interests, from madness and delinquency to film and sexuality, and their resultant writings, are probed by knowledgeable critics and journalists. After reading this book, the reader can explore key notions such as episteme, savoir and connaissance, archeology, and archive, without the knitted brow that plagued Foucault's public when he was alive. This is the guide to Foucault's life as an agent provocateur in the world of philosophy and scholarship.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • Foucault / Blanchot

    Foucault / Blanchot

    Maurice Blanchot: The Thought from Outside and Michel Foucault as I Imagine Him

    Michel Foucault and Maurice Blanchot

    In these two essays, two of the most important French thinkers of our time reflect on each other's work. In so doing, novelist/essayist Maurice Blanchot and philosopher Michel Foucault develop a new perspective on the relationship between subjectivity, fiction, and the will to truth. The two texts present reflections on writing, language, and representation which question the status of the author/subject and explore the notion of a "neutral" voice that arises from the realm of the "outside." This book is crucial not only to an understanding of these two thinkers, but also to any overview of recent French thought.Michel Foucault (1927-1984) was the holder of a chair at the College de France. Among his works are Madness and Civilization, The Order of Things, Discipline and Punish, and The History of Sexuality Maurice Blanchot, born in 1907, is a novelist and critic. His works include Death Sentence, Thomas the Obscure, and The Space of Literature.

    • Hardcover $34.95 £28.00
    • Paperback $18.95 £15.99

Contributor

  • Critical Theory and Interaction Design

    Critical Theory and Interaction Design

    Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell, and Mark Blythe

    Classic texts by thinkers from Althusser to Žižek alongside essays by leaders in interaction design and HCI show the relevance of critical theory to interaction design.

    Why should interaction designers read critical theory? Critical theory is proving unexpectedly relevant to media and technology studies. The editors of this volume argue that reading critical theory—understood in the broadest sense, including but not limited to the Frankfurt School—can help designers do what they want to do; can teach wisdom itself; can provoke; and can introduce new ways of seeing. They illustrate their argument by presenting classic texts by thinkers in critical theory from Althusser to Žižek alongside essays in which leaders in interaction design and HCI describe the influence of the text on their work. For example, one contributor considers the relevance Umberto Eco's “Openness, Information, Communication” to digital content; another reads Walter Benjamin's “The Author as Producer” in terms of interface designers; and another reflects on the implications of Judith Butler's Gender Trouble for interaction design. The editors offer a substantive introduction that traces the various strands of critical theory.

    Taken together, the essays show how critical theory and interaction design can inform each other, and how interaction design, drawing on critical theory, might contribute to our deepest needs for connection, competency, self-esteem, and wellbeing.

    Contributors Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell, Olav W. Bertelsen, Alan F. Blackwell, Mark Blythe, Kirsten Boehner, John Bowers, Gilbert Cockton, Carl DiSalvo, Paul Dourish, Melanie Feinberg, Beki Grinter, Hrönn Brynjarsdóttir Holmer, Jofish Kaye, Ann Light, John McCarthy, Søren Bro Pold, Phoebe Sengers, Erik Stolterman, Kaiton Williams., Peter Wright

    Classic texts Louis Althusser, Aristotle, Roland Barthes, Seyla Benhabib, Walter Benjamin, Judith Butler, Arthur Danto, Terry Eagleton, Umberto Eco, Michel Foucault, Wolfgang Iser, Alan Kaprow, Søren Kierkegaard, Bruno Latour, Herbert Marcuse, Edward Said, James C. Scott, Slavoj Žižek

    • Hardcover $90.00 £75.00
  • Schizo-Culture, 2-vol. set

    Schizo-Culture, 2-vol. set

    The Event, The Book

    Sylvère Lotringer and David Morris

    Never-before-published lectures, Q&As, and squabbles from the conference that introduced French theory into America, with a facsimile of the journal issue that emerged from it.

    I think “schizo-culture” here is being used rather in a special sense. Not referring to clinical schizophrenia, but to the fact that the culture is divided up into all sorts of classes and groups, etc., and that some of the old lines are breaking down. And that this is a healthy sign. —William Burroughs, from Schizo-Culture

    The legendary 1975 “Schizo-Culture” conference, conceived by the early Semiotext(e) collective, began as an attempt to introduce the then-unknown radical philosophies of post-'68 France to the American avant-garde. The event featured a series of seminal papers, from Deleuze's first presentation of the concept of the “rhizome” to Foucault's introduction of his History of Sexuality project. The conference was equally important on a political level, and brought together a diverse group of activists, thinkers, patients, and ex-cons in order to address the challenge of penal and psychiatric institutions. The combination proved to be explosive, but amid the fighting and confusion “Schizo-Culture” revealed deep ruptures in left politics, French thought, and American culture.

    The “Schizo-Culture” issue of the Semiotext(e) journal came three years later. Designed by a group of artists and filmmakers including Kathryn Bigelow and Denise Green, it documented the chaotic creativity of an emerging downtown New York scene, and offered interviews with artists, theorists, writers, and No Wave and pre-punk musicians together with new texts from Deleuze, Foucault, R. D. Laing, and other conference participants.

    This slip-cased edition includes The Book: 1978, a facsimile reproduction of the original Schizo-Culture publication; and The Event: 1975, a previously unpublished and comprehensive record of the conference that set it all off. It assembles many previously unpublished texts, including a detailed selection of interviews reconstructing the events, and features Félix Guattari, William Burroughs, Kathy Acker, Michel Foucault, Sylvère Lotringer, Guy Hocquenghem, Gilles Deleuze, John Rajchman, Robert Wilson, Joel Kovel, Jack Smith, Jean-François Lyotard, Ti-Grace Atkinson, François Peraldi, and John Cage.

    • Paperback $39.95 £32.00
  • Situation

    Situation

    Claire Doherty

    Key texts on the notion of “situation” in art and theory that consider site, place, and context, temporary interventions, remedial actions, place-making, and public space.

    Situation—a unique set of conditions produced in both space and time and ranging across material, social, political, and economic relations—has become a key concept in twenty-first-century art. Rooted in artistic practices of the 1960s and 1970s, the idea of situation has evolved and transcended these in the current context of globalization. This anthology offers key writings on areas of art practice and theory related to situation, including notions of the site specific, the artist as ethnographer or fieldworker, the relation between action and public space, the meaning of place and locality, and the crucial role of the curator in recent situation specific art.

    In North America and Europe, the site-specific is often viewed in terms of resistance to art's commoditization, while elsewhere situation-specific practices have defied institutions of authority. The contributors discuss these recent tendencies in the context of proliferating international biennial exhibitions, curatorial place-bound projects, and strategies by which artists increasingly unsettle the definition and legitimation of situation-based art.

    Artists Surveyed Vito Acconci, Allora & Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Carl Andre, Artist Placement Group, Michael Asher, Amy Balkin, Ursula Biemann, Bik Van der Pol, Daniel Buren, Victor Burgin, Janet Cardiff, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Adam Chodzko, Collective Actions, Tacita Dean, Elmgreen & Dragset, Andrea Fraser, Hamish Fulton, Dan Graham, Liam Gillick, Renée Green, Group Material, Douglas Huebler, Bethan Huws, Pierre Huyghe, Robert Irwin, Emily Jacir, Ilya Kabakov, Leopold Kessler, Július Koller, Langlands & Bell, Ligna, Richard Long, Gordon Matta-Clark, Graeme Miller, Jonathan Monk, Robert Morris, Gabriel Orozco, Walid Ra'ad, Raqs Media Collective, Paul Rooney, Martha Rosler, Allen Ruppersberg, Richard Serra, Situationist International, Tony Smith, Robert Smithson, Vivan Sundaram, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Lawrence Weiner, Rachel Whiteread, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Qiu Zhijie

    Writers Arjun Appaduri, Marc Augé, Wim Beeren, Josephine Berry Slater, Daniel Birnbaum, Ava Bromberg, Susan Buck-Morss, Michel de Certeau, Douglas Crimp, Gilles Deleuze, T. J. Demos, Rosalyn Deutsche, Thierry de Duve, Charles Esche, Graeme Evans, Patricia Falguières, Marina Fokidis, Hal Foster, Hou Hanrou, Brian Holmes, Mary Jane Jacob, Vasif Kortun, Miwon Kwon, Lu Jie, Doreen Massey, James Meyer, Ivo Mesquita, Brian O'Doherty, Craig Owens, Irit Rogoff, Peter Weibel

    • Paperback $24.95
  • Utopias

    Utopias

    Richard Noble

    Utopian strategies in contemporary art seen in the context of the histories of utopian thinking and avant-garde art.

    Throughout its diverse manifestations, the utopian entails two related but contradictory elements: the aspiration to a better world, and the acknowledgement that its form may only ever live in our imaginations. Furthermore, we are as haunted by the failures of utopian enterprise as we are inspired by the desire to repair the failed and build the new. Contemporary art reflects this general ambivalence. The utopian impulse informs politically activist and relational art, practices that fuse elements of art, design, and architecture, and collaborative projects aspiring to progressive social or political change. Two other tendencies have emerged in recent art: a looking backward to investigate the utopian elements of previous eras, and the imaginative modeling of alternative worlds as intimations of possibility. This anthology contextualizes these utopian currents in relation to political thought, viewing the utopian as a key term in the artistic lineage of modernity. It illuminates how the exploration of utopian themes in art today contributes to our understanding of contemporary cultures, and the possibilities for shaping their futures.

    Artistis surveyed include Joseph Beuys, Paul Chan, Guy Debord, Jeremy Deller, Liam Gillick, Antony Gormley, Dan Graham, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Paul McCarthy, Constant A. Nieuwenheuys, Paul Noble, Nils Norman, Philippe Parreno, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Superflex, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Mark Titchner, Atelier van Lieshout, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol, Wochenklauser, Carey Young.

    Writers include Theodor Adorno, Jennifer Allen, Catherine Bernard, Ernst Bloch, Yve-Alain Bois, Nicolas Bourriaud, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Alex Farquharson, Hal Foster, Michel Foucault, Alison Green, Fredric Jameson, Rosalind Krauss, Hari Kunzru, Donald Kuspit, Dermis P. Leon, Karl Marx, Jeremy Millar, Thomas More, William Morris, Molly Nesbit, Hans Ulrich Obrist, George Orwell, Jacques Rancière, Stephanie Rosenthal, Beatrix Ru.

    • Paperback $24.95
  • The German Issue, New Edition

    The German Issue, New Edition

    Sylvère Lotringer

    A first-hand account of the Western world on the threshold of a major global mutation, bridging art and intellect, culture and politics, Europe and America.

    The German Issue (1982) was originally conceived as a follow-up to Semiotext(e)'s Autonomia/Italy issue, published two years earlier. Although ideological terrorism was still a major issue in Germany, what ultimately emerged from these pages was an investigation of two outlaw cities, Berlin and New York, which embodied all the tensions and contradictions of the world at the time. The German Issue is the Tale of Two Cities, then, with each city separated from its own country by an invisible wall of suspicion or even hatred. It is also the complex evocation of the rebelling youth—squatters, punks, artists and radicals, theorists and ex-terrorists—who gathered all their energy and creativity in order to outlive a hostile environment. Like a time capsule, The German Issue brings together all the major “issues” that were being debated on both sides of the Atlantic—which eventually found their abrupt resolution in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. It involved the most important voices of the period—from writers and filmmakers to anthropologists, activists and poets, terrorists and philosophers: Joseph Beuys, Michel Foucault, Christo, Christa Wolf, Walter Abish, Alexander Kluge, Paul Virilio, Ulrilke Meinhof, William Burroughs, Jean Baudrillard, Hans Magnus Enzenberger, Maurice Blanchot, Hans Jürgen Syberberg, Heidegger, André Gorz, Helke Sander. Opening with Christo's “Wrapping Up of Germany” and the celebrated dialogue between East German dramaturge Heiner Müller and Sylvère Lotringer on the Wall (“Mauer”), since published in many languages, The German Issue offers a first-hand account of the Western world on the threshold of a major global mutation. It also embodies at its best Semiotext(e)'s tenacious effort to establish a creative bridge between art and intellect, culture and politics, Europe and America.

    • Hardcover $29.95 £25.00
  • The Archive

    The Archive

    Charles Merewether

    The significance of the archive in modernity and in contemporary art; writings by Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, Hal Foster, and others, and essays on the archival practice of such artists as Gerhard Richter, Christian Boltanski, Renée Green, and The Atlas Group.

    In the modern era, the archive—official or personal—has become the most significant means by which historical knowledge and memory are collected, stored, and recovered. The archive has thus emerged as a key site of inquiry in such fields as anthropology, critical theory, history, and, especially, recent art. Traces and testimonies of such events as World War II and ensuing conflicts, the emergence of the postcolonial era, and the fall of communism have each provoked a reconsideration of the authority given the archive—no longer viewed as a neutral, transparent site of record but as a contested subject and medium in itself.

    This volume surveys the full diversity of our transformed theoretical and critical notions of the archive—as idea and as physical presence—from Freud's "mystic writing pad" to Derrida's "archive fever"; from Christian Boltanski's first autobiographical explorations of archival material in the 1960s to the practice of artists as various as Susan Hiller, Ilya Kabakov, Thomas Hirshhorn, Renée Green, and The Atlas Group in the present.

    Not for sale in the UK and Europe.

    • Paperback $24.95
  • Sensorium

    Sensorium

    Embodied Experience, Technology, and Contemporary Art

    Caroline A. Jones

    Artists and writers reconsider the relationship between the body and electronic technology in the twenty-first century through essays, artworks, and an encyclopedic "Abecedarius of the New Sensorium."

    The relationship between the body and electronic technology, extensively theorized through the 1980s and 1990s, has reached a new technosensual comfort zone in the early twenty-first century. In Sensorium, contemporary artists and writers explore the implications of the techno-human interface. Ten artists, chosen by an international team of curators, offer their own edgy investigations of embodied technology and the technologized body. These range from Matthieu Briand's experiment in "controlled schizophrenia" and Janet Cardiff and Georges Bures Miller's uneasy psychological soundscapes to Bruce Nauman's uncanny night visions and François Roche's destabilized architecture. The art in Sensorium—which accompanies an exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center—captures the aesthetic attitude of this hybrid moment, when modernist segmentation of the senses is giving way to dramatic multisensory mixes or transpositions. Artwork by each artist appears with an analytical essay by a curator, all of it prefaced by an anchoring essay on "The Mediated Sensorium" by Caroline Jones. In the second half of Sensorium, scholars, scientists, and writers contribute entries to an "Abecedarius of the New Sensorium." These short, playful pieces include Bruno Latour on "Air," Barbara Maria Stafford on "Hedonics," Michel Foucault (from a little-known 1966 radio lecture) on the "Utopian Body," Donna Haraway on "Compoundings," and Neal Stephenson on the "Viral." Sensorium is both forensic and diagnostic, viewing the culture of the technologized body from the inside, by means of contemporary artists' provocations, and from a distance, in essays that situate it historically and intellectually. Copublished with The MIT List Visual Arts Center.

    • Hardcover $46.95 £38.00
  • Hatred of Capitalism

    Hatred of Capitalism

    A Semiotext(e) Reader

    Chris Kraus and Sylvère Lotringer

    Jean Baudrillard meets Cookie Mueller in this gathering of French theory and new American fiction.

    Compiled in 2001 to commemorate the passing of an era, Hatred of Capitalism brings together highlights of Semiotext(e)'s most beloved and prescient works. Semiotext(e)'s three-decade history mirrors the history of American thought. Founded by French theorist and critic Sylvere Lotringer as a scholarly journal in 1974, Semiotext(e) quickly took on the mission of melding French theory with the American art world and punk underground. Its Foreign Agents, Native Agents, Active Agents and Double Agents imprints have brought together thinkers and writers as diverse as Gilles Deleuze, Assata Shakur, Bob Flanagan, Paul Virillio, Kate Millet, Jean Baudrillard, Michelle Tea, William S. Burroughs, Eileen Myles, Ulrike Meinhof, and Fanny Howe. In Hatred of Capitalism, editors Kraus and Lotringer bring these people together in the same volume for the first time.

    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • More & Less 2

    More & Less 2

    Sylvère Lotringer

    Contributors: Todd Alden, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Georges Bataille, Jean Baudrillard, David Brown, Gilles Deleuze, Craig Ellwood, Bob Flanagan, Michel Foucault, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Mike Kelley, Joseph Kosuth, Chris Kraus, Julia Kristeva, Don Kubly, Sylvère Lotringer, Deran Ludd, John Miller, Eileen Myles, Darcy Jo Paley, Ann Rower, Sue Spaid, Frances Stark, Mark Stritzel, James Tyler.

    Contributors Todd Alden, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Georges Bataille, Jean Baudrillard, David Brown, Gilles Deleuze, Craig Ellwood, Bob Flanagan, Michel Foucault, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Mike Kelley, Joseph Kosuth, Chris Kraus, Julia Kristeva, Don Kubly, Sylvère Lotringer, Deran Ludd, John Miller, Eileen Myles, Darcy Jo Paley, Ann Rower, Sue Spaid, Frances Stark, Mark Stritzel, James Tyler.

    • Paperback $16.95 £13.99
  • The Normal and the Pathological

    The Normal and the Pathological

    Georges Canguilhem

    The Normal and the Pathological is one of the crucial contributions to the history of science in the last half century. It takes as its starting point the sudden appearance of biology as a science in the 19th-century and examines the conditions determining its particular makeup. Canguilhem analyzes the radically new way in which health and disease were defined in the early 19th-century, showing that the emerging categories of the normal and the pathological were far from being objective scientific concepts. He demonstrates how the epistemological foundations of modern biology and medicine were intertwined with political, economic, and technological imperatives. Canguilhem was an important influence on the thought of Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser, in particular for the way in which he poses the problem of how new domains of knowledge come into being and how they are part of a discontinuous history of human thought.

    • Hardcover $36.95 £30.00
    • Paperback $27.95 £22.50